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March 30, 2008
For food commentator and author Alton Brown, the best roadside food ranges from alligator tail to "koolickles" — dill pickles soaked in cherry Kool-Aid.
Brown found his eclectic picks after he spent 26 days on a motorcycle, tracing the course of the Mississippi River. Along the way, Brown and his crew visited big-city restaurants, small-town diners, barbecue joints and even an alligator farm, where he discovered Louisiana-style grilled alligator tail served with lemon and butter.
His book about the journey, Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run, is a companion to the six-part Food Network series that aired last fall.
Part cookbook, part diary and part memoir, Brown's book features 40 original road-food recipes, along with stories about the people who dish out the flavorful fare. Brown and his crew start the 1,000-mile journey in the Mississippi Delta on the Gulf of Mexico and end near the river's headwaters in Minnesota.
Liane Hansen spoke with Brown about his delicious discoveries as he motored through the country's heartland.
Koolickles - Road Inspired
Make up a jar and keep them on your counter or, better yet, in your fridge. I promise that unless you live in the Delta you'll be the first in your neighborhood to serve them. Strange though they are, these bright pink beauties are extraordinarily refreshing on a hot summer day.
1 gallon jar kosher dill pickles
2 packages unsweetened cherry Kool-Aid
1 pound sugar
Drain the liquid from the pickles into a large container. Add the Kool-Aid mix and the sugar to the liquid and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pickles from the jar, slice them in half lengthwise, and return them to the jar. Return the liquid to the jar of pickles. Not all of the liquid will fit, but make sure the pickles are completely covered.
Place in the refrigerator and let sit for 1 week before eating.
Yield: 1 gallon Koolickles